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Putin Tells MMA Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov "Great Chokehold"

Putin has in his own place so he already had the owner advantage.
Khabib's dad and Khabib walked towards Putin to shake his hand.

Putin chooses his seat and asked them to take a seat.
The people hesitated on where to sit and Putin says wherever:

Then Putin leads the conversation and tells Khabib's dad congratulations on his son's victory.
I suppose a leader-like power move.

Khabib then comments about his opponent and Putin replies with a judge power move:

Khabib: Respectful and strong. I had a polite opponent this time.

Putin: It depends on the person, a top level athlete is supposed to be like that.
They can't be otherwise

This sets the frame of Putin as the judge on what the attributes of a top-level athlete are.

Then Putin goes on to compliment Khabib in a dominant manner setting up a judge frame:

Putin: It's a convincing victory I watched it, you did great.
Great chokehold.

Khabib: Thank you, this time my father was near. (accepts Putin's judge frame)

Putin: A classic chokehold you did it right.

Khabib: Thank you

Putin: Not too much pressure on his throat, no lie, I saw it.
You squeezed properly from both sides, it was all fair.

Khabib: (laughs)

Putin compliments Khabib on his chokehold in a way that feels like he is the expert on chokeholds.

This whole dynamic feels like Putin is telling his KGB agent well done on finishing a project.
This meeting sounds like a debrief.

Good analysis, Matthew.

Also Putin instructing to "use your competitive advantage and not letting your opponent do the same". Feels quite a power move given that Khabib is the obvious subject matter expert there.

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Matthew Whitewood
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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 20, 2021, 10:53 pm

Also Putin instructing to "use your competitive advantage and not letting your opponent do the same". Feels quite a power move given that Khabib is the obvious subject matter expert there.

Reminds me of management consultants telling industry veterans how to do their jobs.

I think Khabib could have re-empowered himself by saying

Putin: use your competitive advantage and not letting your opponent do the same

Khabib: you seem like you have quite a bit of experience

It's quite obvious that Khabib has more experience in martial arts since he does that full-time and is the reigning MMA champion.
So he could draw attention to that and use a minor judge power move.

Or something more cheeky

Khabib: do you miss your KGB days?

I don't know if it was cool or smart for him to re-empower himself in this situation.

As per "fair power", Putin was the man with the highest power and rank.
And as the president, we can argue he was also giving more by inviting Khabib to talk to him -directly with him, no intermediary, and not a part of a planned ceremony-.
That was a good PR and networking opportunity for Khabib.

Maybe a little jab as you suggest, "you do have quite some experience in martial arts, I know" -Putin is a judo black belt, so it's not like he's totally clueless-.

But overdoing it would have been out of place.

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Matthew Whitewood
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The Power Context

I see what you mean.
Because Russia is not a typical democratic country, the President holds the most power.
Furthermore, Russia is a powerful country.

So even though Khabib is high-status because he is a champion in one of the most popular competitions, Putin is still a league higher in terms of power.

Basically, it's like Arnold Schwarzenegger who was a governor and bodybuilding champion talking to Obama or Trump when they were the President of the United States in the American context.

Putin is the crème de la crème when it comes to social power.

When to Let People Have Their Power Move Unchallenged?

I don't know if it was cool or smart for him to re-empower himself in this situation.

So this means strategically letting people have their power moves unchallenged can be a good idea.
If the person is offering a lot of value to you, letting him have his power moves can be a way of rebalancing the exchange.
Especially if the person is of higher power and status.

Of course with the caveat that the power move is not in the orange/red zone.

Also, in this case, Khabib has already shown through results and action that he's the undisputed authority on martial arts.
So letting Putin have his power moves can be seen as empowering Putin in the martial arts domain.
Rather than disempowering Khabib.

Unless Putin goes over to choke Khabib jokingly.
Then maybe Khabib needs to re-empower himself.

Should You Use Power Moves If You Can Get Away With It?

If the power difference is a lot, it seems that one can give a lot of value by virtue of personal value, status and power.
So one can easily throw a few power moves here & there and still be value-adding.

Some power moves here & there may be wise because it reminds people of your authority.
However, too much you're disempowering people and eroding social capital & leadership effectiveness.

Since Putin has very high power, he could empower Khabib a lot without losing any status.

I suppose Putin aims to (maybe naturally) be the most powerful person in all social settings.
This persona does add to his already high-power perception.

 

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Lucio Buffalmano

Yes, if one is giving more value, then it's also "fair" to let him take some more power.

And, often, it's also smart social strategy to let him, since you're trading some power/status for value.

I think PU says that in the case of mentors.
For example, where the mentee would be smart to let the mentor have more power and even to pro-actively give him more power (but it's one of the new additions of PU 7.0, so you might have missed it).

The Costs of Power-Down

Also, you must take into account the costs of being one-upped and disempowered.

The costs of being one-upped for Khabib in that situation are very small.

Consider:

Everyone knows Putin is higher power, and everyone knows Putin is giving him a lot of value with that meeting. Putin is raising his status from "simple" MMA champion (a specific sport), to an (inter)national celebrity, icon, and example admired and recognized by the #1 power in the country (#1 of any endeavor).
Plus, most people instinctively know that's how Putin often behaves, so it's not like he's doing anything different.

The costs of being one-upped for Khabib are small: it's the president being his usual self.
Even with those one-ups, Khabib loses little power and still gains.

But if Khabib were to one-up Putin, the costs on Putin would be huge.
Putin is the leader of the country, giving Khabib lots value. He's not supposed to be disempowered by the guest he's gracefully giving time to.
If Putin were to be disempowered, he'd also lose power and authority as a country leader, going well beyond that meeting. That is bad for the country as well -and most of all for his many supporters-, not just Putin.

That means that Khabib's self-defense, if any, can only be calibrated if minimal.
Because what would be +2 in a normal situation, in this context would end up being +6 for Khabib and -6 for Putin.
That would make it heavily miscalibrated.
And also turn into bad PR for Khabib, as people would (unconsciously) be thinking "what the hell was he doing, that was not cool".

Fair-Value Power & Calibration: An Important Concept to Dig Deeper Into

I'm not sure if this is clear.

But we stumbled onto another important property of power dynamics. Specifically, of calibration and "fair-value power".

When you're obviously lower rank/power and when you're obviously given lots of value, then any one-up on your end is magnified by several orders of magnitude.

PU discusses it from the leader and higher-rank position.
Such as, when a lower-rank individual disempowers you, it's often even more disempowering than if it were done from a same-rank individual.

But it's not yet explained from the lower-power individual.
And maybe it needs some more fleshing out.

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Valentin
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on September 21, 2021, 12:51 pm

Yes, if one is giving more value, then it's also "fair" to let him take some more power.

And, often, it's also smart social strategy to let him, since you're trading some power/status for value.

I think PU says that in the case of mentors.
For example, where the mentee would be smart to let the mentor have more power and even to pro-actively give him more power (but it's one of the new additions of PU 7.0, so you might have missed it).

I definitely recall :).
I find it challenging to deflect power moves against a more powerful person.

What is the Power Difference Between the President & an MMA Champion?

Everyone knows Putin is higher power, and everyone knows Putin is giving him a lot of value with that meeting. Putin is raising his status from "simple" MMA champion (a specific sport), to an (inter)national celebrity, icon, and example admired and recognized by the #1 power in the country (#1 of any endeavor).

My thinking is that the president has spent time on curating universal values: political issues, diplomatic ties, familiarity with domestic issues, etc.
All these are things that people care about.
When you are at the top of all the country issues, naturally you are the creme de la creme.
On top of that, it's the perception of the title "President".

An MMA champion whereas does not have much power outside the ring other than his celebrity status.
Maybe he has a manager and a brand ambassador but no direct authority over anything else.
Even though being number 1 in any endeavour carries a lot of personal value, social status and control matter a lot more.

This was also why when Garry Kasparov, the ex-chess Champion, challenged Putin in politics, Garry lost so badly that he is now in the USA.

So the power difference is huge. Day and night.

Russian Billionaire's Power Closer to Putin's Power?

I was thinking to have a better feel of Putin's power would be to compare him to a Russian billionaire businessman.
Although I heard some sources say Putin is so powerful that he doesn't need money to get things done.
So maybe Putin is still one league higher.

But, if a billionaire visited Putin, then the power difference wouldn't be as great.
The billionaire can act higher power.

Can Khabib "Fake" Higher Power Since It's the First Interaction?

I was thinking of the concept of appearing higher power at first meetings when people are still negotiating power.
Or use some strategies from Jho Low from 1MDB to appear higher power than he really is.

Maybe Khabib can pretend to own businesses in lots of key industries or have political connections globally?

However, Putin probably knows the most powerful people in the world.
So it may be difficult to fake power in front of him.

Is This Similar to a CEO & Head of Legal Relationship?

For example, if the CEO tries to impose authority in the legal domain on the head of legal,

CEO: You are really not bad in the legal domain.

This is the usual "well done" compliment from boss to subordinate.

Maybe It's Closer to the Dynamics Between a Big Businessman (Bill Gates) & a Top Engineer

If Bill Gates invited a top engineer to a meeting, the dynamics would be similar.
Bill Gates is giving a lot of credibility not only in tech but also in business and social status.

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